Monday, October 22, 2012

Two Fundraisers Garner Just Under $19,000 For Injured Anchorage Skier Mary Robicheaux; No Charges Filed Against Driver Yet

Thirteen-year-old Mary Robicheaux, steadily recovering from serious injuries incurred in a traffic accident on August 28th, 2012, received another boost on October 21st, 2012 when as many as 400 people showed up for Mary's Run, a 5-K fun run held at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage. Of the 400, an estimated 250 participated in the actual race, which raised $15,000 towards Mary's continuing medical expenses. It was actually the second fundraiser of the weekend put together by Mary's friends and teammates; on Friday October 19th, skiers from APU's development and junior groups showed up at Kinsey Denton's home loaded down with pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. After spending two hours rolling the coins, their "Change for Mary" event raised $3,730.37. The Anchorage Daily news has a photo gallery available.

Every penny helps, because Mary still has a long way to go, and not even Obamacare is an expressway to recovery. When Mary was struck in the crosswalk by a sun-blinded driver on August 28th, she flipped and rolled over the top of the car. Despite the fact that she was wearing a helmet, her initial condition was critical and she was unable to breathe unassisted. Three days later, she had the first of three surgeries; surgeons put titanium rods in her left femur and right tibia. Five days later, she was able to breath without a respirator and began taking in food once again. But because she suffered six fractured vertebrae, she needed a second surgery to stabilize her spine and fuse one of the vertebra; surgeons had to remove a rib and deflate a lung to get to the vertabra. A third surgery was required when a blood clot developed and prevented the lung from re-inflating. Once the lung inflated, she improved rapidly; she's now moving around on crutches. The family has a website to keep the public informed about her progress:

The driver who struck her was 21-year-old Jordan Tuttle, who drove westbound through the flashing crosswalk across which Robicheaux was riding her bike. He told officers that the low sun angle blinded him. The Alaska Court System database page on him indicates he has a prior DUI, but no charges have been filed against him relating to this incident so far. Perhaps toxicology test results have not yet been received.

Robicheaux, a student at Winterberry Charter School, was one of the 10 best skiers in the state in her age group. Among established adult skiers who have sent her best wishes is Olympic contender Kikkan Randall, whose own career was almost ended in 2008 by May-Thurner Syndrome, which was causing repeat episodes of deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. That means blood clots. Doctors had to use an ultrasound-assisted catheter to disperse a clot-busting drug in both her iliac and iliofemoral veins, while alternately broadening the veins with angioplasty balloons. Because of complications, Randall spent much recovery time in a wheelchair to avoid any pressure on her leg, and took blood-thinning medication for six months afterwards. She recovered completely and is competing again. Randall's experience should be particularly inspiring to Robicheaux.

No comments:

Post a Comment